Sackett’s Land by Louis L’Amour: The Sacketts, Book 1

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An Overview:

Sackett’s Land is the chronicle of Barnabas Sackett, the patriarch of the whole Sackett clan, about whom Louis L’Amour wrote seventeen full-length novels. This is the first in the series and tells the story of a poor Englishman in the early seventeenth century who is forced to flee his homeland because of a run-in with an arrogant aristocrat.

Barnabas establishes his family in what will someday become America, and the courage he uses to overcome hardships make an inspiring tale.

The Main Body:

When Barnabas Sackett finds some Roman-era gold coins buried in his field, he recognizes them as the key to a better life. He travels to London in search of a buyer for his treasure, and in the process meets a beautiful girl from the upper class. When he offers her a drink of water, her wealthy suitor objects and a fight ensues.

Barnabas is forced to flee for his life and makes his way to the harbor where he joins the crew of an ocean-going ship on its way to the New World. He is involved in many adventures on the high seas, including storms and battles with pirates, but when he finally lands near Chesapeake Bay, he is determined to make this new land, far away from royalty and aristocrats, his home.

He knows that true freedom is possible in this place for him, and for his family to come.As an early settler, even before the establishment of Jamestown, he is one of the first white men ever seen by the Native Americans. He interacts with them by following the same Golden Rule that governs the rest of his life.

While this book is a distinct departure from most Louis L’Amour titles that deal with the American West of the 1800′s, it is an intriguing adventure tale from start to finish. As the first in a long series about an American family, it sets the scene well for many adventures to follow. While cynics may think that the plot has a few too many convenient coincidences, anyone who enjoys a well-told story where right and wrong are clearly defined will be fond of Sackett’s Land.

The historic details are accurate and the action is non-stop. These traits combine to make a book that is easy to listen to and will transport the listener to another time and place.

The Narration:

John Curless narrates Sackett’s Land with skill. It is easy to distinguish between the characters’ voices as he reads and he provides the proper accents and inflections for each one. I especially like the snobbish voice he uses for the villainous Rupert Genester and the softer tones he adopts for the female characters.

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